I might have found a new favourite alto-sax reed

So far I had been rather satisfied with the very basic, blue Vandoren reed on my alto. In combination with my Aizen GR 8 I consistently got a good sound and tuning. Somehow though the 2.5 I used had the tendency to be a bit on the stiff side and I usually had to file them a bit down, to get them, you know, just right. I tried the #2, but they were too light to my taste.

The other I day, I decided to try the V21 by Vandoren, which at least as of now, seem to hit just that sweet spot. Having a decent amount of resistance, but still are neither too hard or too soft.

It is still a bit too early to say for sure, but I’m having a good feeling about this.

‘Keep the Pad Unstuck’

Ben Britton in Battling the Sticky G-sharp Key:

The conventional wisdom that gets passed around is to clean the pad with pad paper or a dollar bill, but a bit of liquid soap and water (or just some water in a real pinch) can go a long way. Use a toothbrush if you can to be thorough.

Ben has some helpful tips to help un-sticking the G# key. I was familiar with the Dollar-note (ie.coffee-filter) and the oil one, but soap/water was new to me. I will give that try next time the key acts up. Which is probably tomorrow.

New York State Of Mind: Tenor-Solo

A transcription from Richie Cannata’s tenor solo on Billy Joel’s New State Of Mind

A student needed to play the solo and I tried to find a transcription. Since I couldn’t find a transcription online and had a little downtime I quickly made one myself.


It’s a rather slow tune, which makes the rhythmical notation somewhat cryptic, and in a few spots I’m not entirely sure if everything is correct. But at least it should be in the ballpark, and it’s fun to play.

You can download the PDF here.